Seattle – A new company launched with the support of a number of famous people – including filmmaker James Cameron and the Google founders, Larry Page – announced plans to mine the asteroids that orbit near Earth. It is known asteroids rich in resources, such as precious metals and water.
Planetary Resources Inc. name of the company, intends to sell these materials. In addition to making a profit, the project also aimed to advance the human ability to explore and exploit space, with the extraction of resources that help our species spread throughout the solar system.
“If you look at natural resources in outer space, the nearest step is to go to a nearby asteroid from the Earth,” says co-founder and leader of Planetary Resources, Eric Anderson, as quoted by SPACE. Anderson said these asteroids are very valuable and so easy to achieve.
Planetary Resources mention water and various types of metals such as ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium, or platinum as the two power sources to be explored in the asteroid.
“Platinum group metals are metals that are needed and more easily obtained in the asteroid with a abundant platinum content than the Earth,” says Anderson.
The company estimates that a space rock with a width of 500 meters (1,650 feet) containing platinum group metals is equivalent to the amount of platinum ever excavated in human history.
Planetary Resources does not mention the certainty of the execution time of space mining activity, but Anderson said the company takes several years for the period of preparation.
“During that time, we will determine the number of objects the first mine to be explored and what space missions will be used,” said Anderson.
Planetary Resources has designed a low-cost space telescope but with adequate capability that will orbit near the Earth in 18 to 24 months.